It was a bit of a tense night – sleeping next to people that tried to rob you under threat of death hours ago can be like that – but I slept like a babe in her mother’s arms. Maybe it was the blood loss, maybe it was that I’m starting to get used to being around people that were or are currently planning on killing me. If I’ve learned one thing it’s that people can get used to just about anything. Hatchet-face and Muddy didn’t have much to say but at least they had food. Stale bread and jerky, but food is food. The boys on the other hand never shut up, and as is often the case with those who talk the loudest and longest they had nothing interesting to say. We made the road late yesterday and followed it back to the east and slightly to the north. As we walked the farmer’s wife came to my side.
“Did Lomi really send you to rescue me?”
“Who? Oh, your husband? Not specifically, he came to the Baron’s estate and asked for help – I was the only one available due to other developments.”
“I can scarcely believe he’d go to all that trouble. I didn’t know he cared.”
“Well you know how men are, they don’t like to express their feelings. I’m sure he expresses his feelings for you in other ways.”
I was sure of no such thing, honestly I think he wanted her back to cook for him more than anything, but there’s no reason not to give people hope is there? A few hours of later one of the bandit-boys came pelting back, slipping and sliding to a stop. He excitedly and confusedly explained that a group of knights was blocking the road ahead.
“Of course there is, why would there NOT be a group of knights blocking the road? You lot stay here, I’ll see what this is all about.”
I used my illusionary disguise to make myself look like a presentable and respectful lady and went ahead. I admit I was halfway (three quarters way even maybe) expecting there to be no knights, but there was almost a small village up ahead – a dozen knights along with their attendants, squires, pages, maids and the like with their tents and baggage train and everything, it was larger than some settlements I’ve seen. I was taken to the leader of this little band, Sir Krajeo – a plain looking fellow who’s face seemed somehow too small on one side. It was hard to tell what was going on there but something didn’t seem right. Like he was asymmetrical somehow. It was off-putting.
For being a plain looking fellow he curtained liked to dissemble. I asked him what exactly this blockade was supposed to be about and he proceeded to beat around the bush for nearly an hour. I’m something of a big talker myself, but honestly I have no idea what he said or how he said it. It was the most confusing circular nonsense I have ever encountered. In then end though I figured out that was what was going on was a Passage of Honor.
The Passage of Honor is a well-loved stupid tradition where some knights set up an obstruction to travel and any other knight that wants to pass has to fight them or be “disgraced” by handing over his spurs for the knights to display at their makeshift camp. This shouldn’t have been a big deal since we had no knights in our midst but wait, there’s more! If a lady comes to the blockade unescorted they’re supposed to leave behind a glove or scarf or something so that one of the victorious knights could rescue it and returned to her at which point it was assumed they would become betrothed. Sir Krajeo was being a real stickler about this and his men were backing him up every step of the way. I wasn’t terribly interested in participating in this hidebound foolishness.
“Sir knights, I need to ask you something. Why is it that you’re indulging in this game when there’s actual fighting to be done?”
Another knight with some kind of blue blob on his shield I think was supposed to be a bird spoke up “You speak of the war my lady? We were not called to go, until we are our place is here in the homeland.”
“I speak of no distance battlefield sir, as we speak the Baron himself is leading a force against the barbarians of the hills. And here you sit playing at fighting while others are doing it for real in the service of their liege.”
Another knight with a face like a ferret bristled “You question our honor lady?!”
“I have no choice but to do so sirs. Maybe you’re here because you didn’t know about the Baron’s quest. But you know now. If you remain here what can you do but hang your own spurs in shame for refusing the call to fight?”
That got them out of the way, in theory anyway, it takes a while to get that many people packed up and moving – but they were intent on doing so rather than blocking the roadway. Knights, what a bunch of jackasses. Hatchet and Muddy wanted to wait for them to clear out, convinced they were really there to arrest them but I was able to convince them that they don’t send out a party of knights to arrest poachers, and in any event it was going to take them hours to get packed up and going and I had no intention of waiting around while they did it. The two of them were sweating like fevered hippos as we passed, but there was no incident, I doubt the knights even noticed.
We made Arbeven before nightfall and I was whisked into the Quivira household (such as it was) where there was a most tearful reunion by the Lord and Lady. I’d swear they seemed to actually like one another, perhaps even love one another. You don’t see much of that. Words tumbled out of Lady Quivira like an avalanche, explaining how I rescued her and how brave I was and so forth. When I told them that I was the Baroness’s cousin they were dumbfounded. They seemed intent on starting in with a lot of fawning and carrying on so I had to intervene.
“There will be plenty of time for all of that. Can you find accommodations for my other six companions, I hate to leave them just standing around out there.”
“Of course, of course My Lady. But didn’t you come into town with twelve?”
“Yes, but the woman with the furs, the hatchet-faced broad and their four sons are bandits that tried to rob us. Please hang them.”
Inventory: Mismatched Outfit, Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Dagger of Venom, Bracers of Armor +2, Ring of Protection +2, Light Crossbow
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane,
Piltis Swine, Rince
Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle
the butler , Alice Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire
Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror,
Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe,
Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family,
Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale
Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna
Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee, Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer,
Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin